Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Frank Jackson to Remain in NBA Draft

download (3)According to his Dad, Frank Jackson will remain in this years NBA Draft and hire an agent in the coming days.  Jackson would have been a focal point for the Blue Devils this coming season and his departure leaves the roster guard depleted.

Jackson measured and played well during the first day of the NBA Combine which drew plenty of hype.  Duke now anxiously awaits the decision of the nation top point guard prospect Trevon Duval.

Duke release -

DURHAM, N.C. – Frank Jackson will sign with an agent and remain in the 2017 NBA Draft, he and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Friday.

Jackson was a major contributor for the Blue Devils as a freshman in 2016-17, playing in 36 games and making 16 starts. He averaged 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 24.9 minutes per contest.

“Frank has a bright future ahead of him,” Krzyzewski said. “His combination of athleticism and fearlessness makes him a special player. The next step for him is continuing to develop so he can maximize his exceptional potential. He’ll always be a member of our brotherhood and we want nothing but the very best for him.”

He was named to the All-ACC Tournament second team after averaging 13.0 points and shooting .515 from the floor in Brooklyn as Duke made history by becoming the first team to win four games in as many days to claim the title.

The Alpine, Utah, native made 51 three-pointers and shot .395 from outside the arc in 2016-17, both of which rank eighth on Duke’s freshman charts.

Jackson scored in double figures 20 times as a freshman, reaching the 20-point mark on three occasions. He led the Blue Devils in scoring six times on the year and delivered a season-high 22 points against No. 15 Florida State on Feb. 28 to help spark Duke to victory in its home finale.

He was the co-MVP of the 2016 McDonald’s All-American Game and also won the slam dunk contest the night before the game.


All Eyes on Frank Jackson at NBA Combine

Frank Jacksom
Frank Jacksom

There will be a lot of NBA eyes on Frank Jackson during the NBA Combine which started today and runs through the weekend.

The rising sophomore declared for the draft without an agent and he has until May 24th to pull out per college rules or June 12th by NBA rules. Of course, only the college rule really applies here.

There has been a lot of speculation with concern to Jackson who is an above average athlete.  Mike Krzyzewski challenged him to raise the level of his game down the stretch run a season ago and Jackson  put up better numbers.

Jackson can be a prolific offense scorer at times where he shows flashes of dominance.  But most agree that he needs to tighten up his handle a bit and work on his decision-making.

What is interesting is that the Utah Jazz hold two picks in this years first round.  Jackson is a Utah native and there has been some speculation he might be in line for their 30th pick if he shows well this week.

It came as a bit of a surprise when he entered his name to many in that he would be up for a possible captain spot on a young Duke team next season.  At this time, Duke has just four true guards on the roster in Grayson Allen and freshman  Alex O'Connell, Jordan Goldwire and Gary Trent Jr.

Of those four, two are considered likely to play significant minutes. Then there is the pending decision of Trevon Duval.  Even if Duke was to land Duval, Frank Jackson would be of major value and add to what would a high end four man rotation.

Duke likes to play its guards and would likely play three at a time if Jackson returns and Duval decides to join the group.  Allen is the only other ball handler that has proven himself on the team, so Jackson's return would be a vital ingredient.  In short, all of these guys would see major minutes.

ESPN's Fran Frashcilla and Jeff Goodman were asked about Jackson today.  I cannot confirm what they say is actually true, but here is their take from a call in show earlier -

FRAN FRASCHILLA: I’m a Frank Jackson fan from this point of view. First of all, there’s a dynamic there that Jeff can really touch on, too, with Duke this coming year with Trevon Duval goes on and signs with Duke, which it’s heading in that direction. But Frank played — actually played really well in the second half of the year in what I would describe as a dysfunctional Duke season because of the injuries, particularly and the suspension to Grayson Allen. Frank is a kid, because of his athleticism and shooting ability, that will be eventually, in my opinion, a good NBA player, not necessarily an All-Star, he may not go in the first round, but I personally like his long-term opportunity to play in the league because he’s such a young freshman and because he’s showed glimpses of the player he was in high school and on the AAU circuit, when many of us said he’s one of the top-10 players in the country, I think will be NBA players, if not later than sooner.

JEFF GOODMAN; Frank Jackson is a tough decision, because as Fran said, Duke is probably going to get Trevon Duval. He’s the best point guard in the country, he’s a scoring point who’s better equipped to play the point than Frank. If they get him, how worrisome is that for Frank Jackson, and also the other part is does Grayson Allen coming back to school, did that hurt Frank Jackson’s decision to come back to Duke, because it’s going to be Grayson’s show again to some degree, and now Frank is probably worried about his role, will it expand at all potentially next year with Grayson back, with Duval, with the freshman class that they’ve got coming in, which is, again, very, very good. Most NBA guys, almost all of them told me Frank should come back. He’s a second rounder right now who has a good chance to become a first-rounder in time. May not be next year, he may be a four-year player, but don’t worry about rushing out of there, he can become a first-round pick, a guy that’s a guaranteed first-round pick for the most part, if he’s patient and works on his game.

NOTES - Amile Jefferson is an alternative for the event.  Luke Kennard is participating but will not compete in the five on five. Harry Giles Jr. is one guy many are curious to see and his stature could see major movement.  Jayson Tatum will not participate. Former Blue Devils Semi Ojeleye has not signed with an agent and will participate in the 5 on 5 drills and every other one.

Duke Hands Out 2017 Season Awards

unnamed (4)DURHAM, N.C. – Duke stars Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum were named co-recipients of the 2017 Swett-Baylin Most Valuable Player Award at the Duke men’s basketball program’s annual banquet and awards ceremony, held Thursday evening at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Kennard was named was a consensus second-team All-American in 2017 after leading Duke in scoring (19.5) and three-point shooting (.438). He was named the MVP of the ACC Tournament and was a finalist for numerous major national awards.

The Franklin, Ohio, native also took home the award for the team’s best free throw percentage (.856) – his second consecutive season claiming that honor – and the Iron Duke Award for most minutes played (1,314).

Tatum is the fifth freshman – and fourth in as many years – to receive at least a share of team MVP honors under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, joining Johnny Dawkins (1983), Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015) and Brandon Ingram (2016).

A third-team All-ACC selection and a finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, Tatum averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He was also named to the All-ACC Tournament first team and the ACC All-Freshman Team.

The Bill Krzyzewski Captains’ Award was again bestowed upon Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones. Jefferson also took home awards for the team’s best field goal percentage (.613) and rebound average (8.4), while sharing the Dr. Deryl Hart Award as the team’s top scholar-athlete with Grayson Allen. Jones earned the award for Best Defensive Player for the 2016-17 campaign.

In addition to sharing the Dr. Deryl Hart Award with Jefferson, Allen also collected the award for the team’s highest assist total (119) for the second year in a row.

Freshman Frank Jackson was the recipient of the Pagliuca Family Coach’s Award, which is presented to the player exemplifying the commitment and values of Duke Basketball while displaying overall improvement.

Sophomore Antonio Vrankovic and freshman Harry Giles were co-recipients of the Glenn E. “Ted” Mann Award, given to the reserve who most contributed to team morale throughout the season.

Receiving the Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award were Alex Blutman, Drew Goldstein and Jon Payne. Andrew Greenfield was the recipient of the Harry Rainey Spirit Award, while Shannon Roivas was named the recipient of the Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award.


2016-17 Duke Men’s Basketball Award Winners

Swett-Baylin Award (Most Valuable Player): Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum

Dr. Deryl Hart Award (Top Scholar-Athlete): Grayson Allen, Amile Jefferson

Pagliuca Family Coach’s Award (Commitment and Values): Frank Jackson

Glenn E. “Ted” Mann Award (Contribution to Team Morale): Antonio Vrankovic, Harry Giles

Iron Duke Award (Most Minutes Played): Luke Kennard

Bill Krzyzewski Captains’ Award: Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones

Best Field Goal Percentage: Amile Jefferson

Best Free Throw Percentage: Luke Kennard

Best Rebound Average: Amile Jefferson

Most Assists Award: Grayson Allen

Best Defensive Player: Matt Jones

Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award: Alex Blutman, Drew Goldstein, Jon Payne

Harry Rainey Spirit Award: Andrew Greenfield

Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award: Shannon Roivas

Nike EYBL Session Day One Recap

Jon Scheyer and Chris Collins at the Nike EYBL Session I in Hampton, Virginia
Jon Scheyer and Chris Collins at the Nike EYBL Session I in Hampton, Virginia

Day one of the Nike EYBL Session I is in the books as several Duke prospects kicked off the season in Hampton, Virginia.

The most impressive performance came from big time prospect Cameron Reddish who came alive in the second half when Duke Assistant Coach Jon Scheyer showed up.  Reddish led Team Final to an easy win, tallying 24 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.

Another key target is the brother of Tyus Jones.  Tre is his own player and he continues to make a name for himself.  His Howard Pulley team lost a close game in their opener.  He finished the night with 12 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds.

Point Guaed, Darius Garland had 14 points, tying for a team high and 5 assists, but his Bradley Beal Elite team lost a close game.  Another Duke prospect R.J. Barrett was not in uniform for UPLAY Canada. No reason is known as to why at this time.

Marvin Bagley III had 27 points and 10 rebounds but his team lost a low scoring game.

Several new names on the radar performed well as Jon Scheyer took time to watch several players play about one half each.  We will be talking about those new names on the BDN message board in the coming days.  Mike Krzyzewski is expected to come in town tomorrow.  Already in attendance were Roy Williams, John Calipari and Steve Alford, amongst others.

Former Duke players and coaches Johnny Dawkins of Central Florida and Chris Collins of Northwestern were also at the event. Both Duke alums are coming off huge seasons with their respective teams.

Coming soon, several interviews which include Cameron Reddish and Tre Young.  The event continues at the crack of dawn tomorrow and runs through Sunday.

Grayson Allen Returns to Duke


Grayson Allen returns
Grayson Allen returns

DURHAM, N.C. – Grayson Allen will play his senior season at Duke University in 2017-18, he and head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Tuesday.

Allen averaged 14.5 points and a team-high 3.5 assists in 34 games for Duke in 2016-17. He was named to the All-ACC Tournament second team after averaging 11.5 points and shooting 8-of-16 (.500) from outside the arc as the Blue Devils became the first team to win four games in as many days to capture the championship. He was 5-of-6 from deep as part of an 18-point, five-assist night in Duke’s semifinal win over No. 6 North Carolina.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native also earned his third consecutive All-ACC Academic Team honor in 2017, making him just the ninth Duke player to earn that award at least three times.

“The last few weeks have provided the opportunity for a lot of reflection and prayer,” Allen said. “I’m a firm believer that when something feels right, you go with it. The chance to play with next year’s team just felt right. I’m completely focused on helping Coach K and our staff lead this team to a special season. I love being a Duke student, and continuing to be part of the university culture is something I don’t take for granted.”

For his career, Allen owns averages of 13.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 105 games. He is a career .435 shooter from the floor and .386 from outside the arc, while his career .830 free throw percentage ranks seventh in program history (min. 200 FTM).

Allen will enter the 2017-18 season as the leading active scorer in the ACC with 1,424 total points, a figure that ranks 33rd on Duke’s career chart.

As a sophomore in 2016, Allen became just the sixth Duke player to garner All-America and Academic All-America honors in the same season.  He was a finalist for numerous national awards after averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest; he was also just the ninth player to lead the Blue Devils in both scoring and assists in the same season. Allen’s +17.2-point scoring increase from his freshman to sophomore years was the highest in ACC history.

Allen was a spark off the bench in the 2015 national title game, helping lead Duke to its fifth NCAA crown with 16 points and invaluable energy off the bench in the Blue Devils’ win over Wisconsin.

Duke To Visit Kevin Knox on Wednesday

images (3)One of the nations last major uncommitted  prospects will entertain Duke this Wednesday night.  Kevin Knox announced that he would have in home visits with four schools before deciding on where he would attend college.

North Carolina and Missouri will visit the Knox family on Wednesday followed by Duke and Mike Krzyzewski.  This will come after Florida State and Kentucky visit this evening.

Duke is selling Knox on replacing Jayson Tatum in their lineup. Tatum will be among three more first round draft picks for Duke in the coming NBA Draft.  The Blue Devils will also pitch that they have the pedigree of getting players to the next level and not holding their players back.

Knox has long been on the Blue Devils wish list where the staff has made him a priority early on in the process.